Laconia Police Log, Jan. 3, 2017

Police responded to 63 calls between noon on Jan. 2 and noon on Jan. 3.

Included in those calls were disturbances at 26 Winter St., 30 Durkee St., 21 Academy St. Apt. 1, and Circle K on Union Avenue. A fraud report was made from Cumberland Farms Store on Court Street and an identity theft was reported at 832 North Main St.
City police also assisted Gilford Police at a mass-casualty incident on Lake Shore Road.
Police arrested the following:

• Joshua D. Binette, 19, of 639 Union Ave., Apt. 3, for domestic violence-simple assault.

• Todd A. Duval, 29, of 161 Endicott St. East, Apt. 9, and Hereme C. Alley, 30, of 30 Durkee St., for domestic violence simple assault.

• Steven M. Belanger, 31, of 38 Spring St. for driving after suspension-subsequent offense.

• Jereme C. Alley was arrested once for domestic violence simple assault on Monday and once for violating a restraining order on Tuesday.

– Gail Ober

Gilmanton town administrator to retire

GILMANTON — Town Administrator Paul Branscombe will retire from municipal government on March 10, he said Wednesday in a telephone interview.

Branscombe was hired by the Board of Selectmen in July of 2015 and has served the selectmen through good and bad times over the past two years.

"This has been a wonderful experience," said Branscombe. "Had I not come here, I never would have met my wife."

Branscombe said that he has been training former Assistant Town Clerk Tax Collector Heidi Duval to take over his position, with the selectmen's permission, and has recommend the board hire her.

– Gail Ober

Jump-start destroys cars, scorches home


LACONIA — Two cars were destroyed and a house was scorched when an attempt to jump start one of the two cars went awry, sparking an explosion and fire at the home of Warren Bailey, the renowned radio personality, at 284 Pine St. around 2 p.m. on Wednesday.

The two sedans, a 2000 BMW and 2016 Kia, were parked nose-to-nose in the driveway alongside the house. Baily said that to jump start the BMW he connected the cables and started the Kia, then stepped into house for moment, apparently leaving the cables connected and motor running. Suddenly he heard a loud explosion.

"There was fire everywhere," he said. Right away he called 911, as flames were beginning to lick at the side of the house just a few feet from the burning cars.

Deputy Fire Chief Kirk Beattie said that when firefighters arrived "There was lots of fire." He said that although fire had reached the house and climbed the wall, firefighters knocked it down quickly. As firefighters reached the scene, Beattie said, there was another explosion and he sensed that magnesium, perhaps on the engine block of the BMW, had been ignited. Although the outside of the side wall of the house was burned and charred by the fire and stripped by firefighters extinguishing lingering hot spots, the interior of home was spared from fire damage.

Bailey mourned the loss of what he called "a classic BMW," but said that no one was injured, the house is "OK but smells real bad and the other stuff can be replaced. Well, not the BMW." He praised the firefighters for their prompt response and efficient work.

01-04 car fire